Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Friday, May 23, 2008

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

The sky was crystal clear blue, not one white cloud floated across its expanse. It was hot but the flora in the Holy Land is in full bloom. It was the perfect day to pay a visit to the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens. My neighbor and I hiked to the Gardens and after arriving we were looking at the Water lily pond when a 80ish something man approached us. He was riding in a mini golf cart. "Say, do you want a tour?" he asked. Carole and I looked at one another and said, "Sure!"

"My name is Michael, I'm a retired tour guide but now I volunteer my time at the Botanical Gardens. Follow me" he said. He sped up in his cart over to a shade tree where we sat and chatted. We told he that we wanted to see any Biblical plants and orchids. There seems to be an affinity for orchids in Israel. Off we were. Michael said that the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens were not built necessarily for their beauty but for educational purposes. In our eyes it was very beautiful.
"You have a beautiful welcome" Michael said. The Magnolia trees were still, just barely, in bloom. They lined either side of the pathway as we walked on to the Biblical plants.
Lots of pistachio trees. This is an unusual variety with red nuts, and they aren't dyed! Michael was a great tour guide. Just perfect for us, not too much information but just enough. Often he couldn't remember the exact name of the plant but he had lively stories about several of the trees. He was hearing impaired so sometimes a question or two was left unanswered. And when Michael wanted to get to another plant in a hurry he would speed up in his cart leaving us in the dust!

We tried to give him a tip when we were through. Of course he refused but then gave in to our insistence. He asked our permission to give the money as a donation to the programs at the Botanical Gardens for the classes for autistic children. A perfect ending to a beautiful morning.


Nan said...

Thank you for sharing that beauty. What a lovely post - photos and story!

Brother Richard said...

Remarkable, as always. God is in the details.

Jan said...

Beautiful Suzie Reminded me of our visit to the garden here in St. Louis. I have hundereds of buds on my Magnolia tree at home soon will be blooming. Lots of love, Jan your cousin.

Dina said...

Is there ANYWHERE you go that doesn't hold a story? Nice!